Vol 18, No 4

Flux and spectral variation characteristics of 3C 454.3 at the GeV band

Hai-Ming Zhang, Jin Zhang, Rui-Jing Lu, Ting-Feng Yi, Xiao-Li Huang, En-Wei Liang


Abstract We analyze the long-term lightcurve of 3C 454.3 observed with Fermi/LAT and investigate its relation to flux in the radio, optical and X-ray bands. By fitting the 1-day binned GeV lightcurve with multiple Gaussian functions (MGF), we propose that the typical variability timescale in the GeV band is 1–10 d. The GeV flux variation is accompanied by the spectral variation characterized as flux-tracking, i.e., “harder when brighter.” The GeV flux is correlated with the optical and X-ray fluxes, and a weak correlation between γ-ray flux and radio flux is also observed. The γ-ray flux is not correlated with the optical linear polarization degree for the global lightcurves, but they show a correlation for the lightcurves before MJD 56000. The power density spectrum of the global lightcurve shows an obvious turnover at ∼7.7 d, which may indicate a typical variability timescale of 3C 454.3 in the γ-ray band. This is also consistent with the derived timescales by fitting the global lightcurve with MGF. The spectral evolution and an increase in the optical linear polarization degree along with the increase in γ-ray flux may indicate that the radiation particles are accelerated and the magnetic field is ordered by the shock processes during the outbursts. In addition, the nature of 3C 454.3 may be consistent with a self-organized criticality system, similar to Sagittarius A∗, and thus the outbursts could be from plasmoid ejections driven by magnetic reconnection. This may further support the idea that the jet radiation regions are magnetized.


Keywords gamma rays: galaxies — galaxies: jets — quasars: individual (3C 454.3)

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